How to Double Your
Make Teachers Happy
and Maintain Network Integrity
The following information is from America’s Digital Schools 2006, a study
conducted by The Greaves Group and The Hayes Connection. Their
report is a forecast of the computing issues for the next five years. A
summary of key findings is available for download or you can purchase
the entire survey at http://ADS2008.org. One key finding from the report
considers a looming bandwidth crisis.
“Today the Internet bandwidth per student is 2.90 Kbps according to the
survey. Furthermore, schools say they will grow this to 9.57 Kbps per
student by 2011 - a 3.3 fold increase. But the ADS2006 team believes as
much as 40 Kbps may be needed in five years. As the number of
computers in schools increases and the ways in which students use
computers change, more and more bandwidth will be needed.
It is unlikely, however, that many schools are budgeting for a 14 fold
increase, although technology directors are generally aware of the
challenge. The hard costs of the bandwidth required to support the
growth in online learning, home connectivity and ubiquitous computing
are unknown and likely to require additional research.”
The question about bandwidth is certainly one that needs to be
addressed. Is this prediction valid? How do IT Directors view this and
what impact does this have on the growth of networks, staffing, support
and the extension of learning beyond the school district to providing
access to students from their homes?
In addition to bandwidth, many IT departments face the gradual loss of
control as teachers and students use the Internet to blog, participate in
social networking and access video from YouTube and other sources.
The use of video from on-line and non-approved sources can impact
school districts in two ways: (1) online video slows down the network
causing delays and other problems for users in the district and the
individuals responsible for curriculum no longer have control over the
tools teachers use which may or may not cause problems with state and
Another area of concern is staffing. A recent study by SchoolDude.com
of K-12 school districts found that 72% of districts do not have enough IT
staff to integrate new technology into the classroom and 69% do not
believe they can effectively support the needs of the district. This data
supports the need for solutions that can be easily integrated into the
classroom without adding additional support personnel or staff for
deployment or on-going support.
1. What would it cost to triple your daytime bandwidth?
2. How do you add realtime video without negatively impacting
3. What happens to efficiency if you double or triple bandwidth
utilization with your existing network?
4. What’s the benefit of closing the gate to unrestricted on-line
5. How do you continue to address these issues with existing
staff and support personnel?
The answers to these questions call for unique solutions and action.
Where’s the Extra Bandwidth?
Not all networks are created equal and not all school districts have
enough bandwidth to deliver video on demand to their classrooms from
multiple or on-line sources without seeing a drag on the network.
Keep in mind that video on demand usage is unicast rather than
multicast so it requires more bandwidth and the more people that
access on-line video the more bandwidth required.
The problem is the extra bandwidth is needed during school
hours and bandwidth is not a faucet that can be turned up or
down to control the flow of information. What’s needed is a way
to utilize 100% of the available bandwidth not just a small portion.
If a typical operational school day is 7:00 am to 5:00 pm the
network is busy for 10 hours. But, that leaves 14 hours where the
network is inactive and bandwidth is abundant. Each week has
168 hours but the network is only active for 50 of those hours.
That means school districts are paying for 100% of their network but
only using 30%. This begs the question, how do you maximize
bandwidth? The answer is, find a way to make use of the 70% of
bandwidth that is not being used.
Closing the Gate
As long as teachers have unfettered access to on-line video the problems
impacting bandwidth and standards will exist. The solution is to develop
a manageable gateway. Allow teachers to search the Internet for tools
and video that will help them in the classroom but control the use of these
materials. Sites like YouTube allow for downloading so creating a
gateway where teachers find and request content that can be reviewed,
approved and downloaded provides a great compromise that encourages
teachers to be creative but implements controls so it is within usage
guidelines that make sense for teachers as well as curriculum standards
and network usage.
So, the answer to this dilemma, that many school districts face, is to
make use of night time and weekend bandwidth and create a gateway to
control the use of on-line video. If this is an approach that is appealing to
your district, Synergy Broadcast Systems has a solution that can help you
solve these problems.
For more information on how to double your bandwidth, keep teachers
happy and maintain the integrity of your network give us a call.
Synergy Broadcast Systems
16115 Dooley Road Addison, TX 75001
About Synergy Broadcast Systems
Synergy Broadcast Systems is located in Addison, TX (Dallas). Founded in 1987 to serve the education,
cable, broadcast, government and healthcare markets the company’s solutions help facilities manage and
utilize video content in the most efficient and effective manner to capture, catalog, organize, archive,
report and deliver video for broadcast, video on demand, streaming and digital signage. The company’s
systems are modular, economically scalable and forward-focused to provide solutions that solve video
organization and delivery problems and provide migration options for future growth and expansion. For
additional information call 800-601-6991 or visit http://www.synergybroadcast.com.